Quartz Daily Brief—Europe edition—Last of the old News Corp, China trade data, Disney profits, Turkish mustache commerce

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What to watch for today

Export engine in the shop. Germany reports industrial production for March. In February output from factories stabilized somewhat, but given that it exports so much to its recession-bound European neighbors, Germany’s prospects don’t look especially strong.

NewsCorp presents its last quarterly results before splitting into two. Here’s a chart to explain Rupert Murdoch’s new News Corp and 21st Century Fox.

Thank you, Shinzo. Japanese auto giant Toyota Motor reports quarterly and full-year earnings. The shares are up more than 40% so far this year, thanks to optimism over Abenomics.

Buon giorno, Tsipi. US Secretary of State John Kerry, on a visit to Italy, will meet with Israel’s Tsipi Livni to discuss talks with the Palestinians. They haven’t invited the Palestinians, though.

It’s Britain’s state opening of Parliament. The Queen will arrive at Westminster in all her finery and make a speech laying out the government’s planned legislation for the coming year.

While you were sleeping 

China’s trade numbers rose more than expected. Exports grew 14.7% and imports were up 16.8%. China swung to a $18.16 billion surplus, after a $884 million deficit in March. The trade numbers have been laughably implausible lately, but Chinese authorities have made noises about cracking down on shenanigans.

Alibaba’s revenues shot up 80%. China’s e-commerce heavyweight saw income rise to $1.84 billion in the last quarter of 2012, with profits up 156% to 650 million, as revealed by a Yahoo filing.

Disney the great and powerful. Theme parks, movies and television all contributed to higher Q1 profits, up 32% on last year to $1.5 billion

Russia and America agreed to do something about Syria. A joint conference, with Syria’s government and rebels in attendance, is to be held within a month.

Jamie has a fight on his hands. Influential proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis called for JP Morgan Chase to separate the roles of CEO and chairman, both now held by Jamie Dimon. Another advisory firm, ISS, earlier backed the separation following such missteps as the firm’s loss of $6 billion in the London Whale debacle.

The WTO has a new captain. Brazilian Roberto Azevêdo will be the new director of the World Trade Organization, signaling the rising influence of the South American economic power.

Market noses are bleeding. US stocks pushed still higher amid decent earnings and easier money out of the Australia. And Europe is even getting in on  the action, with Germany’s DAX touching an all-time high.

Quartz obsession interlude

Gwynn Guilford on why China’s promise to open up capital flows is a big deal… but don’t hold your breath. “Exchange rate and interest rate repression are so fundamental to China’s economic growth that there is almost nothing that would not be affected by reforms—it’s a Rube Goldberg contraption of financial and political interests, with almost unimaginably large amounts of money and political power held in the balance. That’s why the government has traditionally been extremely opaque about how and when it will implement reforms. That’s not likely to change.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Emerging market cities are miserable. They also risk becoming literally uninhabitable.

Yields on emerging market government bonds are ridiculously low. Somebody is going to get hurt. Oh, and that goes for junk bonds too.

The rise of hatewit. Twitter is an enabler of hate groups.

Bill Gates vs. the US deficit. The rich should pay more to reduce it, says Bill.

Unlike MBAs, economics doctorates are not worthless.

Surprising discoveries

Fringe benefit. Turkey is developing a reputation as the mustache transplant capital of the world.

Get me rewrite. US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has tamed his loopy signature for its appearance on the new US dollar.

Amazing escape. Three women, missing for a decade and long given up for dead, escaped from a house in a working-class neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio.

Guitar heroes. Women find a man sexier when he’s holding a guitar.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, mustache models, and signature suggestions to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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